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en;

sus; "This is enough; this is the heaven of Heav there I shall see Him who is altogether lovely: "there I shall behold Him who gave his life a ransom "for me: there I shall approach the Lamb in the

midst of the throne, who will feed me and lead me 6 to living fountains of water: there I shall be like "him, for I shall see him as he is: there I shall be for દ ever with the Lord." Having considered the state to which we are encouraged to look forward, let us observe,

II. The desirable mode of admission.
ENTRANCE,

we read of an

And here

MINISTERED ABUN

DANTLY.

What is the ENTRANCE? Unquestionably-Death. "By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death hath passed upon all men, be"cause all have sinned." With two exceptions, this has been the way of all the earth. "Enoch was "translated that he should not see death." "Elijah "went up by a whirlwind into heaven." They departed without the separation of soul and body, and knew nothing of "pains and groans and dying strife.” They were not unclothed, but clothed upon; and in them mortality was swallowed up of life. But only one passage remains for us; and this, not an easy and an alluring, but a rough and a gloomy one. A messenger brings us to God, but it is "the King of Terrors;" we enter the land flowing with milk and honey, but it is through "the valley of the shadow of "death."

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But you should remember that your entrance into

a

the invisible world is ADMINISTERED; “ Are not two

; sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall " not fall to the ground without your Father. Fear

not therefore, ye are of more value than many

sparrows." “ The” very.“ hairs of your head are u all numbered." “Precious in the sight of the " Lord is the death of his saints ;” and he orders all the circumstances attending it. Not only is the will of God concerned in the general sentence of mortal. ity pronounced upon us, but death always receives a particular commission from him. Hence,

Hence, in a similar .condition, one is taken and another left. The circumstance of time is fixed by him; “ The number of “our months is with him.” The place is determined by his purpose. The means and the manner of our removal are disposed by his pleasure. Whether we are to die young or old; whether we are to be seized at home or abroad; whether we shall be carried off by accidents or disease ; whether we shall expire slowly or suddenly, are secrets impenetrable to us, but all is wisely and kindly regulated by his Providence.

The death of some is distinguished by indulgences and honours not vochsafed to all; and this is what the apostle means by an entrance ministered unto us ABUNDANTLY. For all do not enter alike. Some shipwrecked, are washed by the surge half dead on the shore, or reach it clinging terrified to a plank; others, with crowded sails and with a preserved cargo of spices and perfumes, beautifully, gallantly enter the desired haven. Some are scarcely saved, and some are more than conquerors. A triumph was not decreed to every Roman general upon his return to the capital. Can we imagine the martyrs issuing from the flames entered heaven like a Christian, who had been often tempted to conceal his religion to escape a sneer or a frown? We may observe a remarkable diversity even in the deaths of common believers. Some die only safe, while their state is unknown to themselves, and suspected by others. In some, hope and fear alternately prevail. Some feel a peace which passeth all understanding, while some exult with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. And in these is fulfilled the language of the promise, “With gladness and re

joicing shall they be brought : they shall enter into * the King's palace.” They are “joyful in glory”. before they have reached it, and “shout aloud upon “their” dying “ beds.” God deals with them as he did with Moses, when he led him to the top of Pisgah and gave him a prospect of the holy land; only with this difference, his view was a substitute for possession while their look is to render the passage easier, and to make them hasten to the goodly mountain of Leb.

Such a death the apostle valued more than the continuance of life; all his concern was to “fin.

; “ ish his course with joy ;" and the assured hope of this would animate thousands, and reconcile them to all the trials they endure. It is desirable and valuable, both with regard to themselves and others.

They will need it themselves. It is a new, a trying, and an awful thing to die. They will find dying to be work enough, without having doubts and fears to encounter. The distresses of life admit of alleviation and diversion ; but it is otherwise with the pains death. Worldly pursuits are broken off, sensual pleas.

anon.

ures are excluded, conversation is difficult, friends are anxious and fearful ; and if you have no joy 'springing up in you from a spiritual source, your condition is deplorable and desperate. Would you die in darkness, or in the light of God's countenance ? Would you enter another world, ignorant whether you shall step into endless happiness or misery; or depart, able to say as you look back with a smile upon survivors, “ Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know ?”

You should long for this also on the behalf of oth, ers. This is the last time you can do any thing in serving God and your generation ; but by this you may be rendered peculiarly useful. Your dying looks and your dying words may make impressions which shall never be erased. Some who have refused to hear sermons, have been convinced by a dying bed. The religion which can produce such patience and resignation, courage and joy, has become honourable in their esteem. They have admired and resolved to follow a Master, who does not cast off his servants when their strength faileth, and who blesses them with strong consolation when others are left without support. The evidence is too plain to be denied, too sol. · emn to be ridiculed. Such a death has also often been profitable to those who were already in the way to Zion, but walking with trembling steps, and often fearing how it would go with them at last ; when they have seen the grace of God, they have been glad, their ardour has been kindled, their courage has been renewed; they have said, “ Why may it not be so with u me? The Lord is my helper, I will not fear.” When Doctor Rivet was labouring under the disease

which ended in his dissolution, he said, "Let all who . come to enquire after me, be allowed to see me. I "ought to be an example of religion, dying as well as living; and Chrift fhall be magnified in my body, "whether it be by life or by death." "Let me die

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the death of the righteous, and let my last end be "like his." But in order to this it will be necessary for us,

III. To examine the condition upon which this privilege is suspended, and which is obviously here implied; "FOR SO an entrance shall be ministered "unto you abundantly, into the everlasting kingdom ❝ of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Chrift." There are two things which it will be proper for us briefly to premise. First, There are cases in which Christians may be affected all through life by bodily causes, having something morbid and atrabilarious in their conftitution, which subjects them to various changes and depressions with which religion has no concern. There is no reasoning from these inftances. Secondly, It is not for us to determine what God may do in particular cases; for he does not always deal with his people according to their desert; he is slow to anger and ready to forgive. Nevertheless he has given us a rule by which we are to walk; and has wisely established a connection between duty and privilege. And I am persuaded that there is not an individual in this assembly, who would not rationally and scripturally expect to find one course of life attended with a more favoured and happy death than another; nor can there be much dispute in determining the nature of

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